The market is up 76. The SFE Futures suggested a 23 point rise in the market this morning. Most stocks doing well. Good start to the week with major resource stocks and the banks showing upward momentum. Fairly quiet on the news front. Resources up 2.5 %. BHP and RIO up 1.4% and 4.6%. Financials up 2.0% — banks all up — NAB up 2.4%.

The Dow was up 44. Up 51 at best. Down 69 at worst. Volumes low. Market up 1.3% for the week. US Energy stocks up 3.1% Friday. US Financials down 1.7%. US Cyclical material and industrial stocks up on better-than-expected manufacturing figures and more positive consumer sentiment numbers. Factory orders worse-than-expected.

Orica Ltd (ORI) posted solid 1H NPAT after items down 1.8% to $220.4m from $229.8m a year ago. NPAT before items was up 15% to $264m in-line with expectations for about $250-$260m. One-offs were broadly in-line with slightly higher tax and interest charges. Overall, strong operating result. 1H dividend up to 40c from 39c a year ago. ORI maintained guidance for earnings growth for the FY.

  • Lion Nathan (LNN) expects to agree on a scheme implementation agreement for the Kirin deal in the next week.
  • Sims Metals (SGM) expect NPAT before items in the nine months to March to be $79m. In addition they reflagged that the result doesn’t include the goodwill impairment charge of $173m.
  • ANZ announced Graham Hodges will take up the role of acting head of its Australian operations following the resignation of Brian Hartzer.
  • Alumina (AWC) out of a trading halt with $737m institutional component of their entitlement offer complete — raised more than the $644m expected. Expects to raise $285m more in a retail offer.
  • Roc Oil (ROC) said they are happy to consider takeover proposals.
  • OZ Minerals (OZL) said it expects $500m+ in cash after the Minmetals deal.
  • Biota Holdings (BTA) import GSK initiatives to new influenza A (H1N1) strain.
  • Austal (ASB) note a US navy littoral combat ship order.
  • iSOFT (IBA) note they entering the Italian Market.
  • Karoon Gas (KAR) remains in a trading halt.
  • Perseus Mining (PRU) request a trading halt regarding a capital raising.

Other…

  • APN News & Media (APN) maintained a BUY with 290c price target despite the parent company Independent News, being in a heap of trouble.
  • Goldman Sachs JB Were have West Australian (WAN) at SELL with a price target of 405c. Note they are under severe pressure from the deterioration in national ad spend and the impact the slowdown in resource-related activity on the WA economy.
  • Merrills up ASX Limited (ASX) to 3300c from 3000c representing a 50% premium to PE multiples across the market.
  • RBS keep the Australian banking sector UNDERWEIGHT as lenders continue to report 1H earnings
  • RBA decides on interest rates tomorrow Economists expect rates to be left unchanged at 3%.
  • RBA Quarterly Bulletin out on Thursday. We are expecting them to downgrade GDP forecasts (already flagged).
  • Westpac Bank announces it interim numbers on Wednesday.
  • All Ors breaks the 3798 level on an intraday basis.

The Dow Futures suggest a 35 point rise on Wall Street.

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